Injury or illness on the job?
PEF’s got Worker’s Compensation resources for you
By KATE MOSTACCIO
The COVID-19 pandemic thrust Worker’s Compensation into the spotlight as working Americans struggle to deal with contracting the virus in the workplace or in the course of their job.
The PEF Article 13 Committee reviews and makes recommendations on the implementation and administration of the Workers’ Compensation contractual and civil service law benefits, and how those work with benefits provided under the Worker’s Compensation law.
With all the information circulating in the news and on social media, it is important that PEF members have an accurate source of information when it comes to Worker’s Compensation. PEF Health and Safety staff have developed numerous comprehensive resources for members. Worker’s Compensation law firms working with PEF have also provided some guidance, and are available for questions on workers compensation and COVID.
“Workers’ Compensation provides coverage for both ‘accidents’ and ‘occupational diseases’,” Robert Grey of the law firm Grey & Grey LLP advises. “An ‘accident’ is an injury or illness that was caused by a specific workplace exposure or event. An ‘occupational disease’ is an injury or illness that comes from the type of work you do. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus and you believe it was due to either a specific exposure at work or because the nature of your job exposes you to people who are infected with the virus, you should file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.”
Visit PEF’s COVID-19 page and scroll down to the Worker’s Compensation tab to find important resources and information to help you through deciding if you have a claim, documenting exposure, and filing the claim. You can watch two tele-town hall videos here and here, view the Article 13 Committee’s question and answer sheet on Worker’s Compensation here, or access a guide on what steps to take in a Worker’s Compensation case.
Article 13 Committee Chairman Radhakrishna Mohan, and members Virginia Davey, Errol London and Sheryl Sperry, along with PEF staff member Geraldine Stella, keep a close eye on all aspects of Worker’s Compensation, including which agencies top the list for work-related claims, issues with communication and instructions to members, and compilation of informational materials, to name a few.
“Members often do not know where to start if they have a workplace injury or illness” Mohan said. “And COVID exposure claims can be tricky. We’re glad we can help our brothers and sisters find the information they need. The Article 13 Committee is proud to have found an expert in Geraldine Stella, PEF Health and Safety expert, whose astute knowledge and deep understanding in the field of Worker’s Comp is a great strength to the Committee to negotiate with GOER to make changes that are critical for our PEF members who seek Worker’s Comp coverage and benefits.”